YOU CAN DO IT: Strawberry Ricotta French Galettes

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After months of being consumed by remodeling, moving, unpacking, and purging, all of a sudden I woke up and the truth hit me: I have a child starting 7th grade, one starting high school, and my baby going into 3rd grade next week; the big Labor Day camping adventure we do with six other families every year is THIS weekend, our 17th wedding anniversary is coming up on the 5th; and, yes, SUMMER IS OVER.

Wow. Three months gone. Just. Like. That.

While summer started with us packing up and moving out of the rental we were in for two years, it’s ending with us officially in our new house – yippee! It’s the smallest house we’ve lived in as a family (we left 3800 sq feet in suburbia three years ago and now live in just about 2100 sq feet), yet it’s also the happiest, most comfortable house we’ve ever lived in. Soooo much work went into getting it ready for our July 1st move in: tearing down walls, a new beam, electrical work, floor installation and refinishing, painting, carpeting… and, even though we’re in, there’s still lots and lots of work to complete. But, WE ARE HOME – and we are blessed we now have a place to root our hearts and watch our kids continue to grow.

One of the raddest parts of this remodel and move is that Frigidiare partnered up with me again! Yep! Revolocity Creative spearheaded the whole project and in just a few weeks our new kitchen campaign will launch. You’ll see the reveal of my kitchen before and after, tag along with me as I shopped for appliances, and then cook with me in the kitchen! I’ll share recipes, kitchen life hacks, and we’re even doing a recipe contest giveaway! So, follow meFrigidaire and Kraft Foods on Facebook and STAY TUNED!!

Something I want to share with you today, though, is this: my strawberry ricotta french galette.

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It seems only appropriate as we say goodbye to summer and, soon, to fresh strawberries, that we mark the end with a little something special, no? Well, THIS is special… and it’s gonna thrill your taste buds to no end.

All it takes is this: a pint of fresh strawberries, some ricotta cheese, a little powdered sugar, and homemade pastry dough…

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and then these simple ingredients for the finishing: an egg wash (take a room temp egg and beat it until smooth), a little sugar, and some fresh grated lemon zest.

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First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and make the dough. It’s the dough I used for my mango tart on Food Fighters, and the same dough I use for my hand pies and plated pies. This is the dough you need to know.

FOR TWO CRUSTS:
2.5 cups flour
2 regular sticks of salted butter
2 TBSP sugar
12-13 TBSP ice water

  • Add flour, butter, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Turn on for 10 seconds nonstop. Then, pulse and additional 5-8 times. The goal is for butter bits to be about a little larger than pea sized…. so don’t over process!
  • Drizzle a TBSP of water at a time through the top of the food processor and pulse for 1 second after each water addition.
  • Pour mixture from food processor bowl into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, squeeze the dough together until all of the mixture is stuck together. (NOTE: The dough should lean to the dry side. If it is too dry, wet your hands and continue to work dough until it adheres. If it is too sticky, add a tsp of flour at a time until the stickiness is gone.
  • Form two discs, wrap in plastic, and chill.

For a video tutorial on the dough, watch this:


Second, prepare your ricotta mixture.

  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of powdered sugar

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Place the two ingredients in a bowl together and stir until sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside.

Third, prepare your strawberries. Wash and dry them, and then slice them in thin slices. Be sure to keep the strawberries together, though – it will make for a prettier layout when you put the galette together. Set aside.

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Fourth, roll out the pastry. Once your dough is chilled and ready to use, flour your surface, flour the disc, and get to rolling until you have a disc that’s bout 1/4″ thick.

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Now, one of the things I love most about galettes is that they’re meant to look rustic. So, when you roll the crust out, remember that: it doesn’t need to be perfect.

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Fifth, assemble the galette. With the rolled out pastry centered on your baking sheet, smear your sweetened ricotta cheese around the center (being sure to leave about 2″ between the ricotta and the edge of the crust).

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Cover the ricotta with your strawberries, and then begin to fold the crust up over the edges of the strawberries….

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DSC04339 Once you have the sides folded in, wash all of the exposed dough with your egg wash (it’s what helps the crust get nice and golden)…

DSC04346 Lightly sprinkle the entire tart with some sugar…

DSC04357 And then finish it off with a little fresh grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon worth)…

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Once it’s ready to go, bake it in the oven for 15-18 minutes (or until golden brown)… and LOOK WHAT YOU’LL HAVE: pure deliciousness.

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From start to finish, this is something you can get together in less than 30 minutes (if you already have the dough made)… AND, it’s something that will make whomever you serve feel your love 😉

Make it. Eat it. Come back and tell me about it. I’ve missed you… and, now that I have my brain back and I’m settled in, I promise I won’t be a stranger anymore. Thanks for sticking with me – thanks for reading.

TOMORROW: It’s quinoa time!! I’ll tell you what to do with a leftover rotisseri chicken and a box GQ Brand 100% Royal Tricolor Quinoa. It’s a fast, flavorful, crowd-pleasing meal you don’t want to miss.

AM Northwest: Fresh Fruit Hand Pies

As a mom, there’s not much I get ‘props’ for. No one jumps for joy when I wash and fold their clothes; no one really notices when I go grocery shopping, or make lunches, or sweep the floor. (I wrote about motherhood being a tough gig not too long ago.) And hey – that’s the life of a mom, so I don’t sweat it. But one of the reasons I love, love, love to cook and to bake is because, without fail, when my kids catch whiffs of what I’m stewing, or baking, or sautéing… it draws them to me.

That’s the thing about cooking: the sweet, delicious smells created by my work call my babies to my side quicker than words ever do. They come in close, lean in, and ask for nibbles. They want to talk about what’s going into the pan; they ask questions like: Mom, did you make this up? Have I eaten it before? Will I like this?

They see ingredients at their finest – fresh, colorful, clean. They see me confidently using my hands to prepare and dice and toss and squeeze. They see me choose, and manipulate, and ‘dance’ my mama’s dance of love. And, when it’s all done, they enjoy the fruits of my labor.

It’s seeing my babies enjoy my ‘work’ and celebrate my ‘dance’ – that’s why I cook.

I especially love the squeals of joy when I make these:

Fresh Fruit Hand Pies with Homemade Flaky Puff Pastry

Fresh Fruit Hand Pies with Homemade Flaky Puff Pastry

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Call these my rebel yell against commercialize pop tarts, breakfast strudels, and sugary cereal. I dreamed them up in my kitchen one day when I had an abundance of mangos and some leftover tart dough… and I can’t believe it took me so long to begin creating these. They are just sweet enough with the fresh fruit and the slight addition of sugar that I wouldn’t hesitate to serve one for breakfast with a couple eggs – or as an after school treat with a glass of milk. And man, let me tell you: the kids really think they’re getting something spectacular when they eat these.

The crust is super simple, the filling is fresh and easy to prepare, and based on the reaction of my kiddos, all kids are sure to enjoy making and eating.

Here goes:

First, make the dough.

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2 regular sticks of salted butter
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 12-13 TBSP ice water
  1. Add flour, butter, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Turn on for 10 seconds nonstop. Then, pulse and additional 5-8 times. The goal is for butter bits to be about a little larger than pea sized…. so don’t over process!
  2. Drizzle a TBSP of water at a time through the top of the food processor and pulse for 1 second after each water addition.
  3. Pour mixture from food processor bowl into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, squeeze the dough together until all of the mixture is stuck together. (NOTE: The dough should lean to the dry side. If it is too dry, wet your hands and continue to work dough until it adheres. If it is too sticky, add a tsp of flour at a time until the stickiness is gone.
  4. Form two discs, wrap in plastic, and chill.

While dough chills, prepare your filling. Here are some great options…

Mango/Coconut filling
Dice up some champagne mangos and toss with sweetened shredded coconut.

Apple filling
Peel and dice up granny smith apples. (Apple pieces should be just slightly larger than a corn kernal.) Toss the apples with a little sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fresh Berries
Toss fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries – anything! – with a little sugar and squeeze of lemon juice.

Assemble the handpies:

  1. Preheat the oven and a baking sheet to 400 degrees.
  2. Roll out your chilled dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  3. Cut out whatever shape you’d like with an oversized cookie cutter, or other found object from your kitchen. (Large coffee cups make great cutters for circular hand pies.)
  4. Fill the center of your shape so that you maintain about a 1/2 inch around the outside of the filling. Dip your finger in the egg wash and coat the edge along the outside of the filling.
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  5. Take a second shape and cover the filled piece. Gently push the edges together being careful not to push the filling out of the sides. Then, dip a fork into the egg wash and ‘seal’ the edges with the fork.
  6. Using a pastry brush, wash the top of the hand pie thoroughly, then score with either a knife or a several fork pricks.
  7. OPTIONAL: You can sprinkle colored pastry sugar over the top before baking. If you are making the apple pies, you can add chopped store-bought caramels and sprinkle a pinch of coarse sea salt over the top for a ‘salted carmel apple’ pie.
  8. Place the assembled pies onto a preheated baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown.
For "Salted Carmel Apple" Handpie: fill with prepared apples, a few pieces of store-bought carmel (diced), and then, after you apply egg wash to assembled pie, top with a pinch of corse sea salt.

For “Salted Carmel Apple” Handpie: fill with prepared apples, a few pieces of store-bought carmel (diced), and then, after you apply egg wash to assembled pie, top with a pinch of corse sea salt.

These little gems are amazing warm… but just as yummy served cold – especially when thrown into a lunch pail for your little love.

Check out today’s AM Northwest segment from this morning where Dave and I made these up:

http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/Homemade-Fruit-Pies-204900551.html